As I entered the doors of the Academy there was already an atmosphere built in the place, from the queue for the bar, to the hoard of BFS fans already claiming the front row. Waiting in line outside The Academy for an hour has its perks, as I joined in with the crowd to get as close to the stage as physically possible. The flock soon arrived behind me, truly filling the venue, before the first of two opening acts have even started. The lights soon dim and the background music lowers, as the possibly/probably drunk crowd cheer and roar for the night ahead.
First to the stage was The Bottom Line, a four piece band from the south coast of England. As soon as they hit the stage, the crowd payed full attention, jumping along to the beautiful pop punk guitar riffs and drums along with lead singer Callum. The enthusiasm this band brought to the stage was incredible, from getting the crowd to sing along to “I Still Hate You”, to Callum stage diving. Every song played was more than enough to keep the audience engaged and energised. In total, a very upbeat band fulfilling the definition of pop punk.
The second band to come on stage was another English quartet, Lacey. Although much less energetic and more serious in tone and lyrics, this band did not disappoint. With powerful songs such as “Tonight”, “Shadow” and a slowed down cover of Blink 182’s “Dammit”, this band kept the crowd cheering throughout. They end there set by suggesting a return to Ireland in the near future, to which the crowd seem to react strongly to.
(As the roadies prepared the stage for the band, they brought out Jaret and Chris’ guitars which can be seen in almost every BFS music video, this alone was enough to make me fan girl a bit, not gonna lie.)
Finally the time came, one of the most influential pop punk bands were about to play live, merely a few feet away from my face. The lights dimmed, the crowd started chanting. As soon as they walked out, the cheering from the fans was overwhelming, the band took a second to embrace the sold out venues applause before jumping right into their set list, opening with “The B*tch Song”, a perfect way to set the tempo for the night.
As soon as the first few songs are played, lead singer Jaret takes over the show, in engaging with the audience. Every word out of his mouth is spontaneous and witty as he comments on his recent weight gain, “I know, I look like I ate the singer from Bowling For Soup”. He then goes on to introduce the members of the band, a recurring theme in this concert, as he introduces them repeatedly, also introducing his new amplifier “Carlos”.
The band jump right back into it without losing momentum by playing their classics that the crowd sing every word to, such as: “My Wena”, “Almost” and “Punk Rock 101”. They even played their cheesiest but most popular song among children, The Phineas and Ferb theme song.
BFS finish their set with “Girl All The Bad Guys Want”, then exit stage swiftly. The crowd immediately start chanting for an encore in pure Irish fashion, “One more tune, One more tune, One more tune!” to which guitarist Chris comes back onstage to correct the fans of their personalized encore chant, “Soup, there it is! Soup, there it is! Soup, there it is!”
The Band come back on stage one last time to finish with the energetic song “1985”, leaving the crowd fully satisfied with the set list and the concert as a whole. Proving after 22 years, the band still perform with as much energy and talent as ever…
All in all,
If you love pop punk: definitely check out The Bottom Line:
If you love Alternative rock: check out Lacey:
If you love Bowling For Soup, or even if you only know a song or two, definitely check out their top hits along with their new album “Drunk Dynasty”